By Patrick Rall
The Chrysler Group has issued a recall for the select Dodge
Ram 1500 and Dodge Dakota pickups from the 2009 and 2010 model year to address
a pinion nut issue that could cause the rear differential to fail and lock up. This recall does not come as any big surprise
due to the NHTSA investigation launched in July and, in fact, it comes as a
relief to many Dodge truck owners who were facing rear differential problems. This topic has been a popular topic of
conversation among Ram owners on the site so for many of those concerned owners
- relief is in sight.
The recall pertains specifically to 2009 and 2010 Dodge Ram
1500 and Dodge Dakota pickups that were built between July 1st 2009 and
November 30th 2009. Owners can find
their built date on the sticker located in the driver’s side front door
In these Ram and Dakota pickups, there is a rear axle pinion
nut that may not have had a proper amount of adhesives added during production
and that could allow the nut to work itself loose over time. When that nut comes free, it can move around
in the rear end housing along with allowing the other components to move
freely. This is likely to cause the rear
wheels to lock up and in one reported case – the locked rear end caused the
driveshaft to break and when it came apart, it punctured the gas tank. Luckily, there have been no reports of
injuries but there was one accident reported to the NHTSA where the wheels of a
Ram 1500 locked up and the vehicle slid out of control into a concrete barrier.
During their own investigation, the Chrysler Group found
that the majority of the cases of rear differential failures occurred in Ram
and Dakota pickups built during the date range mentioned above. In total, this new recall reaches 44,300
trucks in the US but the number could have been much higher had the company not
targeted the specific production date range.
There were over 230,000 Ram pickups sold in 2009 and 2010 so the scope
could have been far more extensive.
Chrysler will begin contacting owners in November,
instructing them to make an appointment with their local dealership to have
their Dodge Ram 1500 or Dodge Dakota rear diff repaired. Chrysler will inspected the internal workings
of the rear differential, adding a pinion nut retainer that will prevent the
troublesome nut from working itself loose and locking up the rear diff.